By: Chris Marcojos
The singular fundraising dinner and concert hosted by the Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) entitled “An Evening with Eva Santos and the VIP Waiters” held at the Metrocentre Hotel last Saturday, February 25, 2006, was a hit. Two hundred (200) curious Boholanos attended the affair to experience a first in Boholano history. Dismounting from their high horses and coming down from their ivory towers, Bohol’s top government leaders, business tycoons, civic leaders, and socialites served as waiters for the evening fundraiser, all in the spirit of goodwill and sportsmanship.
The affair was the brainchild of the Officers and Trustees of BCCI headed by BCCI President Norris Oculam and Dinner for a Cause Committee Chairperson Wilfilda “Baby” Collins and committee members Pureza Chatto and Helena “Tata” Veloso. Conceptualized a few months ago, the project is intended to raise funds for the local business advocacy projects and investment promotions planned by BCCI in addition to promoting a closer and more effective relationship among the business community, the local government leaders, and the local civic leaders. However, in light of the recent Southern Leyte tragedy, BCCI will also be donating part of the evening’s proceeds to the victims and their families.
|Certainly no room for compettition here, Mr. Fred Ong of BQ and Mr. Marlito Uy of Alturas take a pose for the cameras.|
|No special photo effect or camera trick in the above photo. Fred Ong and Mayor Dan Lim sharing a light conversation.|
BCCI President Norris Oculam opened the evening with his welcoming address. The dinner-concert for a cause then kicked off with a bang, starting with the presentation of the VIP Waiters in a parade in the Grand Ballroom of the Metrocentre Hotel. Past BCCI President Loreto “Loy” Palapos introduced the dinner’s VIP Waiters in their costumes complete with bowties and nameplates. First introduced were the three business tycoons of the province, Mr. Frederick Ong of Bohol Quality Corporation, Mr. Mar Uy of the Alturas Group of Companies and Mr. Richard Uy of First Consolidated Bank. They were followed by media mogul Mr. Peter Dejaresco and socialite Ms. Baby Collins of Pons Garcia Pawnshops. Bohol’s top government officials came next – Mayor Dan Neri Lim, and Vice Mayor Nuevas Montes of Tagbilaran City, Vice Governor Julius Caesar Herrera, and the congressional representatives of the three districts of Bohol – Edgar Chatto, Roberto Cajes, and Eladio Jala. Next in line was the most hard-working waiter of the evening, Mr. Kurt Biebelmann of Atlantis Dive Center representing the European business community in Bohol. He was followed by Ms. Tata Veloso, manager of Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation Tagbilaran, and Ms. Pureza Chatto of 1st Flower Avenue. Last but not the least was First Lady of the City of Tagbilaran, Ms. Sharleen Lim. Governor Erico Aumentado, one of the most enthusiastic to participate as VIP Waiter for the momentous event, was unfortunately unable to attend due to health reasons. After the parade, the VIP Waiters proceeded to their assigned tables, filling glasses and attending to guests throughout the night. There was never a dull moment in the evening as guests were treated to quality “VIP service” as they enjoyed formal dining serenaded by the beautiful Ms. Eva Santos and company.
|Expectant dinner guests await the parade of VIP waiters in the Grand Ballroom, Metrocentre Hotel.|
The great success of BCCI’s dinner for a cause was not just evident by the number of guests in attendance and by the funds raised for local business community projects and charity but also by the unity and cooperation exhibited by the organizers and participants of the event.
It highlighted the sportsmanship shown by the prominent individuals who transcended the borders of politics and business interests for a worthy cause. These people displayed the Boholano’s capacity to rise above and beyond personal boundaries and social limitations. Despite the country’s economic and political turmoil, the “big dogs” of the “Republic of Bohol” have shown that they do not need Manny Pacquiao to win a world-title fight in order for them to stand together in friendship and cooperation. Truly, the affair was a first of its kind and hopefully not just a once in a lifetime experience.
|Vice Governor Julius Herrera serving red wine to Mrs. Elena Uy of Bohol Electronics.|
The meaningful affair would not have been possible if not for the commitment and dedication of BCCI’s Officers and Board of Trustees and the support of its major sponsors – Mr. Mario Uy of Miravilla Resort, Fely’s Jewelry and Pawnshop, Weesam Express, First Consolidated Bank, San Miguel Beer, Pons Garcia Pawnshops, JJ’s Seafood Village, Atlantis Dive Center, Bohol People’s Lumber Corporation, Bohol Water Utilities Inc. and Bohol Light.